As the UK Seniors Snooker Championship returns to Hull’s Bonus Arena in August, the 50 for Fifty initiative has been launched to help the city’s ageing population living in isolation, residential care or suffering from mental health issues.
The event will feature icons of the sport including Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry, Dennis Taylor, John Parrott and Ken Doherty. The scheme, in partnership with the Lord Mayor of Hull and World Seniors Snooker, aims to use these snooker greats to enhance the lives of those over 50 who for one of many reasons may now find themselves lonely and missing the interaction of others.
Businesses in the city can be part of the scheme by purchasing 50 discounted tickets for the event which will go directly to local organisations to distribute to residents who can attend the tournament and watch their heroes live in action.
The Bonus Arena – the host venue – is the first company to sign up to the scheme and will donate 50 tickets for the first session on August 12.
Promoter Jason Francis said: “Our research shows that loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29%, and half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all.
“By partnering with the Lord Mayor and Hull City Council we want to reach out to businesses in the city and work with them to bring in 50 people for a day out at the snooker where they can meet our stars but more importantly each other. These businesses will join our heroes wall and receive promotion of their company and their involvement in the scheme during the tournament which will be broadcast live on television.”
Lord Mayor, Councillor Lynn Petrini, said: “It’s great to see live sports like this brought to the city and hosted at Hull’s Bonus Arena. The event has proved to be very popular in Hull, and this new scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for people who are currently vulnerable or living in isolation to see live competition. I would encourage any local business to get involved if they can and play their part.”
Dan Harris said: “The UK Seniors Snooker is one of my favourite events in the diary and it really is a wonderful experience to see real sporting icons here in Hull.
“The 50 For Fifty scheme will give residents of Hull the opportunity to see these legends in the flesh and we look forward to engaging with local businesses who wish to join us in supporting this fantastic initiative.”
The event plays from August 12-15, with two sessions a day. Any companies who wish to take part in the scheme can contact the Bonus Arena team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.